The Rockin’ the Docks 20th anniversary is set for July 4 in Lenoir City Park.

After the Memorial Day weekend celebration had to be canceled, Tony Aikens, Lenoir City mayor, said he wants to make sure “first responders, medical personnel and veterans” are honored with a July celebration. He’s planning a flyover by the Air National Guard and has “already spoken to the colonel at the air base.”

Aikens said there will be “a lot of surprises” for residents.

Zack Cusick, Lenoir City Parks and Recreation program coordinator, said he couldn’t speak about the surprises but “the show’s going to be a lot better than what you may have seen in the past for our July 4 show.”

Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. and food vendors will open at 1 p.m. Live music will feature the Ethan Vincil Band, The RMS Band and The Royal Hounds.

Aikens said the decision to announce the celebration was made after he received many calls inquiring.

“Unfortunately due to coronavirus, we just have to give it a little more time and doing that we encourage people to practice the guidelines that’s been set out by the governor’s office,” Aikens said. “… In these times that we’re in right now, we did talk about it, but we feel comfortable as of right now having it.”

Cusick doesn’t know how attendance will be affected due to COVID-19 concerns. He said the city is taking precautions and aims to be prepared.

“We’re ordering extra bathrooms so the lines won’t be so long for those,” Cusick said. “We can still mark 6 feet away from those lines coming in. We do still emphasize that they still need to follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines of having 6 feet between anyone outside of your household. So we will kind of emphasize that to anyone at the event as well. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, then by all means we encourage that as well. Other than that, patrons still need to take the responsibility upon themselves to protect themselves as far as anything in the public that can still fall under the CDC guidelines.”

Councilman Jennifer Wampler believes the celebration can only be a positive.

“I think having it outdoors there’s a lot of space there,” she said. “I think people can still somewhat social distance, but I think it’s really good for the community. I think everybody kind of wants to see us trying reopen and it looks like the numbers are looking pretty good so I don’t know why we wouldn’t. ... Everybody I’ve spoke with pretty much feels the same. They’re anxious.”